Miln James

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James Miln 1818 - 1881

Wikipedia has an article about:
James Miln pictured with the Carnac megaliths.
Miln lived in New Zealand at some stage prior to 1873. Any further information about his residence here would be welcome.

He was born in Scotland, had a naval career serving in the First Opium War. As well as New Zealand, he lived for considerable periods in China and India where he was a merchant. In 1873 he visited the famous megalithic site Carnacin Brittany and in 1874 commenced excavations at Roman and earlier sites in the area, which he continued until his sudden death in Edinburgh in 1881 from typhoid. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vice president of the Société Philomatique de Morbihan and the Société Française d'Archéologie. He was also a member of the Royal Northern Society of Antiquaries, Copenhagen.

The research he undertook was published as:

Miln, James 1877 Excavations at Carnac (Brittany), a record of archaeological researches (1877-81). Douglas, Edinburgh, (2 Vols). It is available online.

He trained a local assistant who continued his work and became a recognised expert on European megaliths. The names of both are memorialised in the local archaeological museum: Le Musée de Préhistoire James Miln - Zacharie Le Rouzic,which was founded by his brother Robert Miln to house the material his brother James had excavated.

A couple F J Miln and Emma Miln disembarked in Auckland from the vessel Scimitar ex London on March 11 1864[1]. They were cabin passengers. He may be the same person.


  1. ARRIVAL OF THE SCIMITAR FROM LONDON Daily Southern Cross 31 March 1864 Page 10 PORT OF AUCKLAND.

The Times July 8, 1881:10.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, on-line article 18780.

Chambers Biographical Dictionary.

Frontispiece from Miln 1877.